Winterizing yard equipment (4 cycle engines) Lawnmower, edger, and chippers.
How many times have you started yard work only to find that your equipment doesn’t work? Did you forget to winterize them last fall? If so, the following information can help eliminate this problem next spring.
Like many of us, you probably were thrilled when you cut your yard for the final time last fall. No more grass !!! Let’s put the equipment away and relax for a while. WAIT !! 15 minutes of year-end maintenance will ensure years of life for your equipment.
- Change the oil. As oil is used, it will break down and lose its ability to lubricate and clean the engine properly. Refer to your owner’s manual for recommended oil.
- Clean or replace the filter. A dirty air filter can restrict airflow and cause the engine to run poorly.
- Check the spark plug to assure it is not fouled and that it is properly gapped. Refer to your owner’s manual for gap instructions. Leave spark plug out until item 4 is completed.
- Fuel option 1: I prefer to drain the fuel out of the gas tank and then run the engine to get all the fuel out of the fuel lines and carburetor. As fuel sits and ages, deposits can form and plug the fuel jets in the carburetor. Removing gasoline eliminates this problem. I also advise squirting a small amount (tablespoon) of oil into the cylinder head. This will help lubricate the piston and reduce the possibility of scaring the cylinder walls on the initial startup. Slowly pull the starter cord or turn the starter key to cycle the engine. This will distribute the oil over the internal surfaces of the cylinder and piston.
- Fuel option 2: Adding a fuel stabilizer will keep gas fresh for up to two years. Please read instructions for proper mixing. There is no need to drain the tank using this procedure. However, you will need to run the engine for a short period to ensure that the fuel has made its way into the carburetor.
- Maintenance: This is also a good time to sharpen the blade and lubricate wheel bearings and throttle cables with lubricants such as WD-40. Cleaning the outside of the engine and deck area will help your equipment maintain its appearance. Be sure to wash the underside of your mower deck to reduce the risk of rust forming.
By performing these maintenance items, you ensure your equipment will be ready when you are next spring.